Just finished the book, and the annotations (the descriptions of the alien armor did make me think of Japanese superhero shows; I think it was the belt that gave it away for me, since I haven't really watched any since Power Rangers when I was little). Maybe it's because of all the SG-1 reminiscing over in SF&F, but the chapter of Sulu, Chekov, and Uhura discussing the TV show based on the five year mission gave me big "200" vibes, though the part about tie-ins, especially the reference to CLB's "historical fiction" comparison from the board, felt like Inception-levels of layers of metafiction. The characters are discussing how much of a stretch tie-ins based on an already-fictionalized story based on a hypothetical platonic "real" Star Trek can be... in a tie-in... to the fictional Star Trek canon... so is this itself an in-universe tie-in, with extrapolated versions of the fictional versions of the real crew reacting to the fictionalization of them, but as their fictionalized personas... I never really sympathized with Janeway complaining about time-travel, but I think that scene got my mind to start spinning out in the way some people do when they don't grok time-travel. It was fun. As always, I enjoyed the subtle ripped-from-the-headlines aspects, like the most xenophobic Andorians being the ones with the least contact with aliens, and Spock's sarcastic remark when confronted with the "isn't being intolerant of intolerance the real intolerance" canard. I was interested in the part about "psion particles," and am interested that there's more to them that might come up in a future novel, if only because I mused in another thread somewhere in the last several months about how, thanks to it's pulp sci-fi underpinnings, the nominally-atheistic Star Trek universe had repeatedly and conclusively demonstrated the existence of the soul as a scientifically detectable and quantifiable phenomena in-universe, and has probably got a decent handle on the great questions of the afterlife, but unfortunately, CLB had yet to write a novel doing for Star Trek's theories of mind what he did for time-travel and ancient galactic history, so I'm not sure how it all fits together. That part will probably continue to be politely ignored in and out of universe, but it'd be an interesting avenue for some sociological science fiction. It's always a thrill to get a new novel set in my beloved movie-era. I know I've talked on the board before about my idea for a movie-era ongoing novel story, not necessarily told chronologically, but with a pre-planned skeleton of all the beats we know happened between the six-and-a-bit TOS movies so over time the whole time period gets filled in, and while I'm pretty sure there isn't a secret outline somewhere with all the waypoints drawn up, it seems to be happening anyway just because the authors like to have the continuity hang together. I liked touches like the foreshadowing of the crew musing that they'd probably be unlikely to have a third go-around at joining together and having another shot at their glory days (and the related mention in the metafiction chapter that in stories, the crew could go on having adventures forever), though I'm not sure how well having Kirk become commandant of the Academy and the Enterprise be a training ship so early fits with the "troubleshooting Admiral" period in this and other stories (unless I'm completely forgetting that those stories had the Enterprise normally acting as a training ship and Kirk normally at the Academy, which is possible), and that Kirk is going to have his first unsuccessful stab at retirement in a couple years, and then go back to Starfleet, where he's assigned to be commandant of the Academy, with the Enterprise as a training ship, as if the service was just waiting on him to realize he didn't want to be horseback riding and married for the rest of his life so they didn't bother to give his desk to anyone else. I suppose the whole Antonia thing is another novel, but jumping directly to pre-TWOK feels like burning off some potential for a more radical change to the status quo than what the book presented as a fairly smooth arc from the situation at the end of TMP to the situation at the beginning of TWOK. In any event, that's all window-dressing, in the end, it'd still be Admiral Kirk and Captain Spock rescuing the ersatz telepaths, no matter what their nominal assignments are. I think the reason I bring it up at all is because CLB's novels are so good at weaving in the tapestry and really taking advantage of the idea of Star Trek stories being set in a complex, interconnected, living world, and not just one imaginary ship bopping along having unconnected adventures, so it brings these sorts of contextual questions to mind.